St Petersburg Open – Tuesday

16:00 – M Gonzalez v Mathieu

Rankings are 152 and 108. They have never played before.

Gonzalez rarely ventures off the clay courts. He has played just one match on hard courts over recent weeks. He played the Kremlin Cup and lost in the first round.

Mathieu prefers the hard courts and hit a vein of form at the US Open where he reached the third round beating Hewitt in the first round. He hasn’t had much success since although he came up against Gasquet, Murray and Istomin.

Mathieu reportedly suffered some pain in his foot during his match with Istomin. He has had to come through the qualifying stages here which he obviously managed although he lost to Crivoi.

Gonzalez will give 100% but even a slightly below par Mathieu should be able to deal with him in straight sets.

Wait a couple of games for any sign of the foot giving him problems but if all seems fine he can be backed. Gonzalez holds serve just 65% of the time and his second serve is very suspect. I’d expect Mathieu to be getting the first beak odf serve.

Update: Mathieu was a break down in the opening set but pulled it back. He won the match 6-4, 6-3.

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